Last year BP was responsible for the worst oil spill in the history of the United States and in order to help repair its corporate image the company has pledged to give £10 million to cultural institutions over the next half decade. The company is backing programmes by Tate Britain, the British Museum, the National Portrait Gallery and the Royal Opera House.
Head of the marketing unit at BP is Iain Conn who has said, “We always looking for ways to reach out into the community and not just with our energy products. We want to make a meaningful contribution to society and this pledge is just a small part of that.”
The culture minister has welcomed the contribution saying, “BP has been a business leader for a very long time and it is fantastic to see them getting involved with the support of the arts.” Government funding for arts was cut significantly earlier in the year and this contribution is going to help ease some of the fallout in the area.
Many protests against BP have been based around the Tate Britain and back in April to mark the one-year anniversary of the spill, a naked young man had black oil poured over him as he lay on the floor of the art gallery. BP has never publicly announced how much they donate to culture in the UK every year but it is estimated to be more than £1 million. The company have long been a supporter of the Royal Opera House and have been involved in helping to pay for exhibitions at the Tate Britain for a long time. The National portrait Gallery has also received money from BP.